Infrastructure Enhancement and Growth Grant Competition Winners

Posted on 1/31/2018 10:15:12 AM

The Center for Excellence in Scholarship of the School of Graduate Studies and Research is excited to announce the six proposals selected for the recent Infrastructure Enhancement and Growth Grant competition. In total, the School of Graduate Studies and Research awarded more than $148,000 through this competition in support of research infrastructure.

William Chadwick

Geoplot Geophysical Software to Support Grants, Fee-For-Service Contracts, and Classroom Instruction

The proposed project is to update the Geoscan Research’s geophysical data processing software from Geoplot 3.0 to Geoplot 4.0 within the Department of Anthropology. With the migration of IUP computers to the MS Windows 10 operating system, the department’s three “seats” of Geoscan Research Geoplot 3.0 software would no longer run on the departmental classroom and geophysical laboratory computers. These new seats will support instruction in Archaeological Geophysics in addition to supporting over $5 million in IUP faculty-participating and student grants and contracts that are dependent partly on updating this software. Updating the software will also enable IUP to acquire future grants and contracts and provide students with the skills needed in today’s workforce.

Pao Ying Hsiao (with co-investigators Lori Lombard, Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Johanna Boothby, and Nicole Clark)

Advancing Interprofessional Healthcare Simulation Research through Infrastructure Enhancements

This proposal requested funds to develop laboratory spaces that are essential to the study of more advanced interdisciplinary healthcare simulations. This proposal is also a request for workload release for faculty representatives from the healthcare disciplines to create complex medical scenarios that are foundational to investigating the impact that interprofessional simulation has on student participants and, ultimately, patient safety. The project faculty will apply for the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation President’s Grant and the Advances in Patient Safety through Simulation Research Grant provided by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, among others.

Vida Irani (with co-investigators Jeffery Larkin, David Janetski, and Paul Nealen)

Determining the Source and Prevalence of mcr-1 E.coli across Multiple Trophic Levels in Lake Erie and its Tributaries: Implications for Informing Biological Contaminant Loading to Local Beaches

Vida Irani and colleagues Jeffery Larkin, David Janetski, and Paul Nealen (IUP Biology) have been awarded an IUP Infrastructure Enhancement and Growth Grant for their interdisciplinary project titled “Determining the Source and Prevalence of mcr-1 E.coli across Multiple Trophic Levels in Lake Erie and its Tributaries: Implications for Informing Biological Contaminant Loading to Local Beaches.”

The focus of their study is the introduction of antibiotic resistance genes into Lake Erie, our closest Great Lake and an important source of water for agricultural, urban, and recreational uses. Lake Erie is under extensive cumulative stress from human activities and animal-associated factors, and the available evidence suggest that these stressors aid in the survival and spread of Escherichia coli, a fecal bacterium derived from humans and animal sources. E. coli is an important cause of human and animal pathology, and its presence and abundance in human-use waters is a public health concern, especially when antibiotic resistant forms of E. coli are prevalent.

Using ecological sampling methods followed by microbiological and molecular biological analyses, this study will determine the temporal prevalence of fecal E. coli and the newly-emergent, colistin-resistant E. coli “superbug” in Lake Erie, its tributaries and beaches. Sampling sites will include urban, agricultural, and recreational waters, allowing the researchers to identify fecal bacterium and antibiotic resistance “hotspots” as high-priority targets for further sampling and mitigation recommendations. 

This award will support research efforts of five undergraduate students, providing them with hands-on, relevant experience in both the field and the laboratory. Students will learn and use a variety of techniques across multiple disciplines, giving them a broad array of relevant skills in a field where interdisciplinary research is essential for solutions to complex, multi-factor risks to human health. Pilot data from this project also will support the submission of a larger research proposal to appropriate federal funding agencies.

Sudipta Majumdar (with co-investigators Cuong Diep, Jana Villemain, and Avijita Jain)

ChemiDoc MP Imaging System for Infrastructure Enhancement

The proposal seeks to enhance the existing Microscope and Image Analysis facility housed in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Although the MIA facility is extremely powerful for acquiring organismal and cellular level fluorescent images, it is not suitable for quantitative characterization of DNA and protein molecules. To make our existing MIA facility more effective and useful for IUP’s teaching and research community, the applicant will acquire the ChemiDoc MP imaging system using grant funds and matching funds provided by the College Natural Sciences and Mathematics. With this instrument and the preliminary data it will enable, the team will submit proposals for the Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes of Health and the Research in Undergraduate Institutions award from the National Science Foundation.

Christian Vaccaro

Purchase of My New Leaf Mobile Health Application License for Research in Justice Settings

This proposal is to purchase licenses for two technologies intended to assist in the treatment of substance use disorders and for development of extramural research on the technologies in justice settings. This will support the development two lines of research by faculty teams at the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community Behavioral Health (MARTI-CBH) and the Administration and Leadership Studies Research and Training Center (ALS-RTC). The researcher will submit a proposal to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for a “Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Category One” grant and/or the “Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.” It is also anticipated that this technology will leverage IUP to be competitive for future federal grants, specifically in regards to substance use disorders.

Majed Zreiqat (with co-investigators Luz Marin and Wanda Minnick)

Xsens Motion Analysis System

This proposal is to purchase, with grant funds and matching funds from the Department of Safety Sciences, a Xsens MVN system for full 3D human body motion capture and analysis. This full 3D human motion analysis is used extensively in ergonomics research and will greatly enhance the research opportunities for faculty and students in the safety sciences programs at IUP and open the doors for collaboration with other universities and businesses. With this equipment, the team will submit for grants sponsored by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Institutes of Health.

Research at IUP